The UK legal services market has not been used to much positive news in recent years. Though some law firms have managed to develop their business and grow in hard economic times, there has been an awful lot of flat-lining, even among some of our most famous brands.
Sitting behind recent news that the top-100 firms law firms have returned to double-digit growth (10.5%, according to Deloitte) are a lot of mergers – the growth figures halve when the merger factor is included.
It’s no surprise then that UK law firms are looking to emerging markets – and among our clients it is Latin America that is attracting particular attention.
That may seem counterintuitive – the UK is recovering, just as the news from Latin America gets worse. But what interests these law firms is the scale of unfulfilled potential that closer business links could unlock.
From energy and finance, to cross border litigation, wealth management, and foreign direct investment into the UK, the potential is huge.
MD Communications will shortly be publishing a White Paper identifying the potential here. While UK law firms’ interest in Brazil is well-documented, we have found that this, now fairly crowded jurisdiction, is only part of the story.
Attention is also concentrated on the ‘Pacific Alliance’ countries – including Chile, Colombia and Peru – stable and sophisticated economies that, even if their growth slows, we could do a lot more business with.
Achieving that requires, of course, a bit of ‘language resource’ – but also business development plans that help with the cultural challenges of doing business, and the contacts or introductions to support good business propositions.
Manage those and Latin America can be a key part of many more UK law firms’ plans for growth.
We’ll be using the paper to start debates, promote effective approaches – and of course to put professionals and business people together.
If you would like to be involved or keep up to date and see a final copy of the paper please Linkin.
A copy of our White Paper UK Legal Services and Latin America is available from Jamael Kudratt.
This is the first in a series of guest blogs on Latin America. If you would like to be part of the discussion group on increasing trade between UK and Latin America law firms, please contact Melissa Davis.